Founders and Proof of Concept

Here’s a tip on starting new ventures – prove the concept and partner with talented founders that have this special skill.

Proving your concept has a few steps I think are, like many things, process-oriented and here are my steps:

  1. Pictures – Get clear on the idea and outline what the concept for bring value to someone truly looks like. Identify the opportunity, upside, downside and resources required. You have to have some vision and planning injected into this thinking.
  2. Prototype – With digital or service-based offerings, put the pieces together to show that the concept works. This is often referred to as the minimum viable product (MVP). This takes some design abilities. You have to have the baseline ingredients that reflect a more perfected vision.
  3. Cash – Show that someone pays for what you are offering. Then multiply it with iteration and tweaks. This may be an early, open-minded group of buyers that want to partner on the journey. Get the cash in the bank. You have an obligation to produce results because you have a customer wanting results.

This is a creative process that requires talent. In entrepreneurship, you can’t simply throw cash at something and make it produce a return. Effective founders help take the investments and navigate all the ambiguity, uncertainty and improbabilities towards a working model.

After you get to the cash stage, a few other suggestions:

  • Keep the organizational structure lean with barbarians to lead and hire administrators to assist.
  • Operationalize the business model with process and muscle for a long time and accumulate cash in the bank.
  • Automate and scale when it hurts. Your cash in the bank can fund the big project of software development and information systems automation.

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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